My world, like a giant ant-hill, of hurrying, nameless hordes;
In paths of patterned confusion and the mouthings of meaningless words;
I watch at the mating and hating; I witness the vile and the pure;
Part of the pitiful pageant, these are the Great Obscure:

They are the spinners of cotton,
The weavers of wool,
The makers of roads,
The hewers of coal,
The drivers of trains,
The scrubbers of floors,
The cleaners of drains,
The carvers of doors.

The dwell in the grime and the greyness; they squirm through the warrened ways;
The drift of unknown myrmidons down uneventful days;
Tied to time and the daily task, they toil, but are yet unsure,
Part of a pitiful pageant, these are the Great Obscure.

They are the venders of food,
The printers of news,
The growers of grain,
The servers of stews,
The brewers of beer,
The builders of boats,
The forgers of steel,
And the cutters of coats.

The fields are their home, and the factory; the shops and the ships at sea;
The horde of the inarticulate, content just to do and be;
They toil on the tallest steeple, or in the murk and the mess of a sewer,
These are the nation, the people, these are the Great Obscure.

They are the bakers of bread,
The layers of lines,
The buriers of dead,
The painters of signs,
The dealers of tomes,
The skippers of tugs,
The erectors of homes,
The dispensers of drugs,
The welders of wire,
The teachers of schools,
The fighters of fire,
And the writers of rules.

Part of the pitiful pageant, I know their frustrations and fears,
But, their lips voice honest laughter, and their eyes shed real tears.

Other work by Namur King








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